• Butterflies in a banner for a journal entry.

Be Yourself Butterfly

Inspirational saying and butterfly graphic on journal cover.

Being yourself
is the only way to fly.

One day, while I was taking a stroll on my bike, I came across a cluster of bushes that absolutely took my breath away. Not only were these woody plants bursting with flowers, they were also surrounded by a kaleidoscope of beautiful butterflies.

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One of the photos I took on that day.

Now, it's not often you see so many butterflies collected in one spot, so I couldn't wait to pull out my camera and capture an image of this spectacular sight.

Surely, with such numbers, I would be able to come across at least one butterfly that would sit still long enough for me to zoom in on. However, there would be no such luck on this presumption. They clearly were busy, and had no time for delay. If I was going to participate in the dance they were engaged in, I was going to have to move to their tempo, and this would mean picking up the pace. Good thing camera movement features today are ready to swing to the Jitterbug.

Whirl, swirl, and whirl
went the butterflies.

Click, click, and click went the camera. Then at one point I realized that my open eye looking through the camera's viewfinder was starting to feel strained. It looked like the sun had joined the band and had turned the rhythm into something hotter than July. Clearly it was time to sit the next dance out or I was about to get a sunburned eye. Just as well, as it was time to continue on with my bike ride, happily with a smile, knowing not only had I captured the image of a butterfly, but through the process, I had been captured by the hand of nature and was moved by her beat.

If you thought that that was the end of the story, you'd be close. It seems obvious: Photographer captures a photo. Period. But that's the thing with creation, it's not always so 'obvious'. There's more to see than meets the eye with creativity, and if you're open to it, you can embark on a whole other layer of wonderment.

So, while I was going through my images my mind began to wonder. It began to be curious about the relationship between a butterfly and a flower. I wondered whether their contact was based purely on a butterfly's need for the flower's nectar? Was nature strictly about surviving? Does the butterfly see the flower only as a food supply, or are they able to interconnect with each other on a different level that's not so visible to us as the observer? And if they could, could there be a friendship between them? And if they could, could one of them be an inspiration to the other?

Of course these questions were purely speculative on my part, but as I sat contemplating one of the pictures that I had taken that afternoon, I couldn't help but let my mind go even deeper into the land of imagination, since for me it often seems that that's the only place where true inspiration begins to dawn.

So, down
the rabbit hole
I went...

…where I envisioned a young butterfly in her cocoon, nestled on the leaf of a flower's stem. Would the butterfly wonder if the flower was her mother? And being that she was going through a stage of metamorphosis, would she wonder what she would eventually be like ― look like. Would she want to grow up and look as beautiful as her presumed mother? What would a butterfly say to a flower during this stage of her life? What would the flower say back? Imaginative question after question, imaginative answer after answer, until finally sentences themselves metamorphosed into an inspirational saying ― into its own distinct and beautiful expression where it became what it was truly meant to be.

That's all for now.

Accompanying saying to the above story: This was one of the most touching little sayings I’ve ever had come through my imagination:

"When I was young I wished to be
as beautiful as the flowers near me,"
recalled the butterfly.
Then one day I heard a whisper say,
"Oh no, dream beyond what you see.
Choose to fly and be free!"

Butterfly design: Because the quote is about a butterfly wishing to be a flower, I decided to incorporate one of my butterfly graphics with the impression that it has floral markings. In this case, it was a summer daisy that inspired me — white petals and a yellow centre.

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